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The first made-in-SA fixed- wing aircraft, since 1994, remains firmly grounded. That’s after Paramount’s Bronco II prototype was recently eliminated from test trials in the US.The aircraft made it to the final rounds of the demonstration trials for the US special operations command (Socom) in July but suffered a collapse on landing when an undercarriage leg apparently broke.The reasons for the collapse are not known. Aviation experts say it might have been due to a hard landing, or a mechanical mishap while the rigorous trial flights were undertaken.The aircraft was the brainchild of Paul Potgieter, founder of Aerosud and programme manager for the Rooivalk attack helicopter programme, and his son Paul jnr. The aircraft was originally known as the Ahrlac, short for advanced high-performance reconnaissance light aircraft.The Ahrlac was designed for use by Africa’s smaller air forces to fulfil various roles with only one aircraft type.It has a conformal pod in its fuselage that can eas...

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